May 7

Fieldbuses, down; Industrial Ethernets, up?

Fieldbuses are down and Industrial Ethernets are up?  Is that what a new IMS Research study shows (How Sustainable is an Industrial Fieldbus Infrastructure?)?  Or, as Larry O’Brien put it in his blog post (What’s in a Node? Putting Market Research in Perspective): “[T]he study results have caused quite a stir in the media because…

Read More
Apr 2


It’s not always about the technology – as solid at the PROFIBUS and PROFINET technologies are.  Sometimes it’s about the people who are the public face of the technologies. When you call the PI North America office during business hours, a person answers.  We don’t have “press star for a company directory.”  We don’t have…

Read More
Mar 19

News Roundup

“I’m headed for the last roundup” – so sings Gene Autry in an MP3 track I listen to occasionally.  And today we’re headed for the last roundup… for now anyway.  We’ve had a video roundup and a white paper roundup and we’ll finish off the roundups with this news roundup: At Control Engineering Automaker changes…

Read More
Feb 27

On the PROFI Road

Perhaps you’ve noticed – I like talking about PROFINET and PROFIBUS.  Sometimes here, sometimes on the road.  I’m just back from on the road in Seattle and the first PROFINET one-day training class of 2013 (with 10 more PROFINET and 7 more PROFIBUS to go).  The material is new, revised, re-ordered, and more detailed, so…

Read More
Feb 4

Are FOUNDATION fieldbus and PROFIBUS PA the same thing?

Are FOUNDATION fieldbus and PROFIBUS PA the same thing? is the title of an excellent blog post on the Pepperl+Fuchs USA Blog.  In fact, I liked the title so well I “borrowed” it to title this post. The short answer to the question is “no.”  But there are some nuances. PROFIBUS PA and Foundation Fieldbus…

Read More
Jan 28

Another PROFI Milestone

Any history buff’s out there?  We just published a bit of a retrospective of the PI organization viewed through the lens of newsletters past.  PI began publishing PROFINEWS to an international audience almost 20 years ago, in 1994, more specifically.  View the commemorative Issue 100.  Relive the early days of PROFIBUS and PROFINET in the…

Read More
Jan 15

Catching the Process Fieldbus

This is an updated, edited version of the book review post from March of 2009. I once blogged with tongue in cheek that not only did we have more installed nodes of PROFIBUS than any of the other fieldbuses, but that we had more books, too.  Now we have one more and it’s a doozey. …

Read More
Dec 11

SPS 2012: PROFIBUS and PROFINET in Process

Did you notice in the post about the PI Booth that there were two process walls in the booth? One was for PROFIBUS and the other for PROFINET! If you look closely you may also notice Foundation Fieldbus, HART, and WirelessHART. All of these can have a potential role in a PROFINET/PROFIBUS architected system. On…

Read More
Nov 26

Fieldbuses – it’s a competition, not a war

Fieldbuses – it’s a competition, not a war – I said back in 2006 in The Great Thing about Standards is… in defense of competing fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet standards. Now my friend James Powell weighs in with a similar conclusion in Selecting an open digital protocol in process automation. He begins: “If you want…

Read More
Nov 19

Four kinds of wireless

PROFIBUS and PROFINET are involved in three of the four kinds of wireless. (Yes, wireless is not one monolithic thing: Wireless or Wireless.) My take on the four kinds: Long-distance like to RTUs Process instrument networks like WirelessHART (PI cooperated with HART Communication Foundation and Fieldbus Foundation to standardize this: Simplified Wireless Communication) Discrete sensor…

Read More